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SBD/December 16, 2013/Franchises
Pirates' Frank Coonelly Addresses Root Sports Deal, Payroll At Annual Fan Event
Published December 16, 2013
THE TRUST TREE: In Pittsburgh, Joe Starkey wrote under the header, "Pirates Have Earned More Trust." The Pirates "spent baseball's hot-stove season in a damp, cold basement," and fans' reactions have been "predictable." Fans seem to believe "they're cheap," and that team Owner Bob Nutting "doesn't want to win." When fans have been "burned for five or 10 or 20 years," it is "hard to trust again." But an MLB team's "ability to spend these days is directly related to its local television deal, and the Pirates don't measure up." The team's payroll, "though modest, will increase again, as it should given the influx of national TV money." They "do have the National League's best player secured to a team-friendly deal" through '18 in CF Andrew McCutchen. Starkey: "The Pirates might actually know what they're doing" (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 12/15).